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Photo Credit: Siobhan Harrington

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1) The dining room of the Leopard de Artistes 2) Chef Michele Brogioni 3) An antipasti of fresh mozzarella and tomato 4) Lamb Ossobuco 5) The restaurant’s cannoli


A soft-spoken young chef challenges neighborhood’s rep as culinary bore


culinary hotshots), but surprisingly Brogioni is softbastion of the strollers-and-earlyspoken, precise and tends towards modesty. “I’m no bedtimes set, the Upper West Side has rockstar,” he said. long been accused of suffering from a But that doesn’t mean he is afraid to take leaps less-than-spicy dining scene. of faith, in life and in the kitchen. After earning his While the restaurants at Time Warner Michelin star, Brogioni walked away from everything, Center, like Per Se, Landmarc and Masa, are some of and took a job in Moscow. He stayed in Russia with his the best in the world, the neighborhood has developed wife and children for nine years. a reputation for attracting rather dull bistros. “I don’t know why I moved. Maybe I wanted to run But now, a young chef is reinvigorating one of away from everything and start from scratch,” he said. the neighborhood’s most iconic dining rooms: The Soon established as one of the leading Italian chefs Leopard at des Artistes, formerly known as the Café in Russia, Brogioni garnered formal attention. He was des Artistes, where nude flappers by artist Howard appointed head chef of Maison Chandler Christy famously adorn Dellos Catering, were he cooked the walls. Brogioni is steering the state dinners and prepared &KHI 0LFKHOH %URJLRQḼ̱̭ZKR Vladimir Putin’s meals more than earned his first Michelin star as landmarked restaurant 30 times. During that time he also head chef at Il Falconiere at the back towards his origins in cooked for statesmen including Relais & Chateaux in Cortona, President Obama, President ,WDO\̭̱̭LV QRZ DW WKH KHOP RI WKLV small-town Italy. George W. Bush and former French Lincoln Center restaurant. And he President Nicolas Sarkozy. has introduced an exciting menu Now as The Leopard at des Artistes celebrates of rustic pastas, fresh vegetables and seafood, all with its fourth anniversary, Brogioni is steering the nods to Southern Italy’s home-style kitchens. landmarked restaurant back towards his origins in “The first influence in my cooking are my parents,” small-town Italy with dishes like a Busiate Trapanesi Brogioni said in his thick Italian accent at a corner with shellfish ragout, pepperoncini and fresh table. “In my house someone was always cooking and tomatoes; bucatini with sardines, onions, and wild cooking well,” he added. fennel; and slow braised lamb ossobuco. As a teenager, Brogioni worked in his father’s However, don’t confuse Brogioni’s meticulously restaurant: “It was nothing special, just nice food,” he crafted menu for nostalgia for the old country. “It is said. After culinary school he landed a job cooking for absolutely not a nostalgic menu!” Brogioni insisted, Formula One, traveling the world with the auto race. highly animated for the first time in the interview. “It’s Intricate Japanese-influenced tattoos cover his authentic!” ̱&KULVWRSKHU&DPHURQ arms (tattoos being almost a prerequisite for today’s


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